Grandmothers around the world are famous for the culinary treats they lovingly prepare for family.
Both my grandmothers died many years ago, but I remember their cooking as if I tasted it yesterday. Although they came from different countries and backgrounds, each had her specialties. These matriarchs' dishes were the family favorites!
An article on My Modern Met compares dishes of grandmothers around the world, and shows photos of the women with their flagship dishes.
We tend to associate childhood memories with holidays and summer vacations. Adults keep looking for those desserts, but chefs today are reinterpreting that nostalgia.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and that means pumpkin pie. For many, it might be the only time we eat veggies in a dessert. In the US’s deep south, sweet potato pie is a favorite. We also know about zucchini bread and carrot cake, as well, but talented chefs are branching out.
My grandmother always told me to make sure to have a table in the kitchen. “Sit down while you’re doing all that prep work for holidays and family get-togethers,” she admonished. Good advice for saving one’s back and legs! But the table was and is more than a workspace for ethnic specialties.
To tell the truth, I don’t remember what the actual table looked like, as it was always covered with a tablecloth – a nice one for meals or plastic for preparing the amazing things that came out of her oven or those huge pots on the stove.
The kitchen table is where women (and, increasingly, men) historically gathered – and still do, in some cultures - to share the cutting, mincing, chopping, dicing, rolling and more. Together, they shared the tasks while they talked, told jokes, sang songs and, yes, shared family history.
It is – and was - a space for sharing, collaborating and holding heritage close to our hearts.
In the US, ice cream is a popular go-to choice, while some like nothing better than a well-chilled slice of juicy, sweet watermelon, or even an ice-cold beer.
Elsewhere, people prefer foods with their own heat - hot, hot peppers - and claim adding that heat makes them feel cooler!
A favorite Persian drink is sharbat, made with fruit syrup mixed with water and served in a tall glass filled with ice. My favorite is sour-cherry, although there are many others, including rose. And you will likely connect the word sharbat to today’s ice confection called sherbert.
So take a few minutes, think back to what you ate or drank to keep cool this summer. Did your parents or grandparents have other favorite beat-the-heat remedies?
Share your comments below.
It might seem like a mundane lunch topic, but it was interesting to learn what people eat first thing in the morning. For example, there's the "full English" with sausages, beans, bacon, toast and eggs, served up with a ginormous mug of breakfast tea. For the Americans, waffles and pancakes are a regular feature.
Chileans eat various breads with avocado or cheese spreads and a Swedish colleague had a bowl of porridge oats every morning.
Today, most people grab a quick slice of toast or bowl of cereal.
What about our ancestors? Did they eat the same foods? Did they have the same diets?
We’ve written about it once or twice on our blog. And every family site on MyHeritage.com also includes a recipe page so families can share their traditions. (CLICK HERE to learn how to access your recipe page)
However, we’ve never really looked into what families and cultures believe to be “lucky foods,” those that bring luck or fortune to those who eat them.
A few weeks ago, the ABC in the US published a great post showing some lucky foods consumed on New Year’s Day by various cultures around the world to make sure the year ahead is a good one.
The foods include Black-Eyed Peas in the American south, which either look like coins or “grow” when cooked like your fortune will (depending on which tradition you believe); Long Noodles, thought to bring long life in many Asian countries; and Cooked Greens, which resemble money and are thought to bring good fortune in Germany.
MyHeritage is also preparing holiday-related posts - and some surprises - so stay tuned during November.
A national holiday, Thanksgiving is observed in the United States - and worldwide wherever North American expats reside - on the fourth Thursday of November.
Every immigrant group to the US has also adopted the special day, which crosses all ethnic and religious lines.
"Turkey day" is a universal and delicious event, while the four-day holiday weekend also features football (not soccer!) games, major shopping days and great sales.
Thanksgiving Day's centerpiece is the lovingly-prepared feast on our tables, which we share with family and friends. People begin to plan holiday menus very early. Therefore, we invite the MyHeritage community to participate in our poll below: